Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Irish Psalm Book Found in Bog

This story's been getting a huge amount of play in the mainstream press, but I thought I'd pass it along anyway just in case anyone missed it. A construction worker in Ireland discovered a small psalm book in an Irish bog last week, a find believed to be "the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries."

The psalm book (or psalter) about twenty pages long, has been tentatively dated to 800-1000 AD by Trinity College (Dublin) manuscript experts, and is bound in vellum. Work will now be done to try and figure out how to conserve the book and (hopefully) allow access to its contents someday.

BBC quotes National Museum director Pat Wallace, who said of the book "Nobody has found anything like this for centuries - we are going to find it very hard to find people who know about it ... In my wildest hopes, I could only have dreamed of a discovery as fragile and rare as this. It testifies to the incredible richness of the Early Christian civilisation of this island and to the greatness of ancient Ireland."